From channels selling potions to solve all your worldly and otherworldly problems, to other that play strange wrestling inspired cartoons, there's a lot of weird channels out there...
Recently our OSN subscription ended and there was a week or so, when our renewal was pending, and we had to sift through the free-to-watch channels. To say it resembled a David Lynch meets Japanese game show, would be an understatement. That shit was so Mullholand Drive, that we literally just can't even. From the weird chat channels like Facebook TV, to the random Arab ones that have camel racing festivals, our senses were on overdrive as we were truly overwhelmed with such weird feelings that we feel like it's only fair to bring you into this mess, and maybe help us digest what we've just been through.
Ahlawy would have you fooled that it's a sports channel; with a name like that how can it not be? Well it's not and, as far as we can tell, Ahlawy is a scam capitalising on people's dreams of fame and stardom. This channel advertises many future film and TV productions taking place locally, with you as the star, and it's all a phone call away! So pick up that phone, brush off that ugly mug, and forget talent and experience: these people will hire you anyway. FYI we tried calling them and they said to call back because they were too busy. Take our money just make us famous.
As abstract as they get, this Khaleeji produced channel is aimed at Egyptians, features mostly wrestling, but also sometimes animations of western wrestlers interacting in the Arab world, chased by goats or whatever. Perhaps the most powerful feature is an infomercial that airs at 8pm for a good two hours. This segment is for a miracle diabetes cure, named GoodBye Diabetes. The ad features Egyptian heartthrob Mohamed Foad on the soundtrack, literally going, "Good Bay Diabex" and that's not all. They air testimonials of people reading from a script saying the exact same thing, word for word. It gets super trippy after you reach the fifth person, and they of course each have their own interpretation on how to pronounce the word diabetes.
Another channel with a misleading name; Felool actually just plays films, five minutes at a time, with 15-30 minute ad breaks. The commercials are hilarious but what makes it land on our list, is the fact that anyone can design and send in a commercial. For the last three days, we've been seeing an advert put out for some kid's birthday, and his name is Kajo. YES, Kajo. The channel reads like old radio ads, where people used to call in and wish a loved one a happy birthday. The Kajo ad is relentless as it sometimes takes up the whole interval, and it only alternates between two pics of Kajo riding plastic motorbikes.
There's a whole list of these Algerian channels, and they all start with the word Dzair. And on a scale of weirdness, from 1 to Egypt, we'd say they're pretty Egypt and then some. From sex calls, to crazy sheikhs saying crazy stuff, we selected the premium Dzair channel number 24, which just so happens to sell magic potions with miraculous results, from getting your ex back, to reviving some spirits to help you progress, or the bestselling curse-breaker incense.
We had to mention El-Tet in a weird channel list for sure. Much like El Fara3een or Salvador Dali and other big players in the surreal abstract world, El-Tet is quite the little tripper, with women dancing around the clock. El Tet had to be shutdown for security reasons, hailed as a morally corrupting organisation set out to disrupt the public.